The man alleged to have wounded 10 people in a knife attack on a Tokyo commuter train late Friday told police he became incensed when he saw women who "looked happy" and wanted to kill them, police said.
Yusuke Tsushima, 36, was arrested after he was detained at a neighboring convenience store and charged with attempted murder after allegedly stabbing a woman, a university student in her 20s, with a knife. The victim, who is in a serious condition, suffered multiple wounds to her back and chest, while nine others — four women and five men — were also injured in the attack.
The Metropolitan Police Department initially said one woman and eight men were hurt in the train attack but later said a total of 10 passengers on the Shinjuku-bound train were injured.
Tsushima admitted to the assault, telling the police that "I have been wanting to kill a happy-looking woman for the past six years. Anyone would have been okay."
The police also quoted him as saying that "I thought I could kill a large number of people as there is no space to flee on a train."
Tsushima boarded the Odakyu train with a chef's knife, scissors, cooking oil and a lighter. He transferred to the rapid express train at Noborito Station and attacked the female university student and others. After moving to a different train car, he poured cooking oil on the floor and tried to set it on fire.
At the time of the incident, several hundred passengers were on the train and the driver brought it to a halt after hearing loud voices from the train cars.
After the attack, which occurred at around 8:30 p.m. in the 10-carriage train running in Tokyo's Setagaya Ward, Tsushima fled and was detained by police later that night at a convenience store in neighboring Suginami Ward, investigative sources said.
A worker at the convenience store called the police after the man said, "I'm the suspect from the incident on the news, and I'm tired of running," according to the sources.
The man left what is believed to be the weapon and a mobile phone on the train, they added.
After the suspect had left the scene, the train crew guided passengers along the tracks to a nearby station.
"There were a lot of people with blood on their clothes running away in panic," said a 19-year-old university student who witnessed the incident.
The incident prompted Odakyu to temporarily suspend train operations between Shinjuku Station in Tokyo and Mukogaoka-yuen Station in Kawasaki, Kanagawa Prefecture.
Violent crime is rare in Japan but there have been occasional knife attacks by assailants on random victims.
In June 2008, a man in a truck drove into a crowd in the popular Akihabara district and then jumped out of the vehicle and started stabbing pedestrians, which left seven dead.
In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.